The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) condemns all sexual abuse and sexual harassment. AGMA is fully committed to ensuring that the artists we represent have safe, supportive workplaces. We recognize and appreciate the brave women and men who have come forward as part of the #MeToo movement and acknowledge that the arts community has too often turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct.
Singers and dancers, and many other performing artists, work in close physical proximity to their co-workers, presenting an art that requires bodily contact and touching. It is imperative that these workers have confidence that they can do their work free from sexual harassment and abuse. As the union representing these artists, one of our priorities is to prevent harassment and promote a culture of respect. Indeed, AGMA's anti-sexual harassment policy provides: "An environment free of sexual and other harassment is not only the law, it is fundamental to how we exist."
In the wake of recent allegations, AGMA is improving resources for members who have experienced sexual harassment. Although we have had a confidential reporting system since 2015, we are immediately changing the method of reporting by creating a dedicated email address -- firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails to this address will be monitored by three senior staff who are trained to provide counseling and support in this subject area. We are also working with nationally recognized experts to help create a network of referrals for members who are seeking information, counseling, or legal advice.
It is vital that our members feel empowered to make decisions about reporting and that they know their rights. Members should feel confident that their union is working to help change the culture that has permitted sexual harassment to occur for far too long. The recent allegations and terminations at New York City Ballet are under investigation and the needs of all members will be considered as the contract is enforced.